re·vi·tal·ize   (rē-vīt’l-īz’)   tr.v.   re·vi·tal·ized, re·vi·tal·iz·ing, re·vi·tal·iz·es
To impart new life or vigor to.

faith   (fāth)  n.   1.              Confident belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing. 2.              Belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. See Synonyms at belief, trust. 3.              Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance . . . 6.              A set of principles or beliefs.

re·viv·al   (rĭ-vī’vəl)  n.   1.               a.                       The act or an instance of reviving. b.                      The condition of being revived. c.                       A time of reawakened interest in religion. d.                      A meeting or series of meetings for the purpose of reawakening religious faith, often characterized by impassioned preaching and public testimony. . . 4.         a.                     A time of reawakened interest in religion. b.                     A meeting or series of meetings for the purpose of reawakening religious faith, often characterized by impassioned preaching and public testimony. (All definitions taken from American Heritage Dictionary)

In church circles – especially Baptist church circles – we have begun to interchange the word “revival” with an extended time of meetings. Originally, when churches scheduled revival meetings, they would last for two weeks, and then be carried on as long as the fervor of revival fires continued. Over the years, the two-week time placement became the true limit of the meetings, then church and meeting leaders determined that it might be better to only schedule one week’s worth of extra meetings at a time. Today, the general practice is to invite special personalities to lead in four days’ worth of meetings (Sunday through Wednesday or Thursday to Sunday), or to have a special “Conference” weekend (or even day) and call it Revival.

My experience has been that none of these really is revival. Revival at its root means to bring life back into. In the area of church life it has simply to do with the spiritual life of the congregation being renewed and refreshed. Next week we propose to Revitalize the Faith of those who participate in our “Revival Meetings.” Can we guarantee that this revitalization will happen? Yes, if two things occur:

  1. People will prepare themselves with prayer, before the meetings begin. This includes those who will be leading in the effort (our hired spiritual guns), those who plan to attend any or all of the meetings, those who are members of the church who don’t plan to attend the meetings but find themselves in the influential wake of the Lord’s blessing, and those who hadn’t intended on being a part of a spiritual time of renewal but wandered in.
  2. People will allow God to do the work He desires to do in our lives as a result of our obedience in this extended effort.

You understand that God is not required to pour out His blessing, but often the reason we don’t see when He does is that we aren’t paying attention before or after the fact.

Do you have thoughts on Revival? What about Faith? What about Revitalization? Do you long for a revitalized faith today? Share your thoughts.